Plotting and Other People’s Possessions

Joseph Roisman

in The Rhetoric of Conspiracy in Ancient Athens

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780520247871
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932913 | DOI:
Plotting and Other People’s Possessions

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  • Greek and Roman Archaeology


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This chapter examines the use of plotting and conspiracy in disputed inheritance and cases involving people's possessions in ancient Athens. It explains that plots to appropriate possessions are commonly alleged in speeches and suggests that accusation of conspiracy against proprietors or rival claimants to property tell us a great deal about the Athenian social relations, values and perceptions which inform the depiction of plots and plotters. The chapter describes the works of Isaeus and Demosthenes, and argues that conspiracy stories based on flimsy or nonexistent evidence indicate Athenians' conspiracist mind-sets.

Keywords: disputed inheritance; people's possessions; plotting; conspiracy; ancient Athens; speeches; Isaeus; Demosthenes; social relations; values

Chapter.  10897 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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